July 16, 2017

July 16th, 2017


Fr. Francesco Msofu

Brothers and sisters, “The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live forever” (Lk 8: 11).   From the parable of the sower and Isaiah’s prophecy, we learned that Christ sows the seed of God’s word in our hearts.  He urges us to develop our relationship with the word of God.  So today we must ask ourselves: have we let the seed of God’s word sown in our hearts? Are our hearts open so that God’s word can grow and bear fruit in them?

In the first reading, prophet Isaiah repeats the word from God to the Israelites, assuring them that all His promises will be fulfilled.  This is the story of the Israelites exiled in Babylon for almost 50 years.  Among them, God raised a prophet who proclaimed that their salvation was near, that they would be freed and return to their homeland Israel.  However, many years elapsed and they remained in exile. The Israelites were discouraged and began to question the truth of God’s message.   And God through his prophet Isaiah assured them that his word is like rain and snow, waters from heaven are essential for the nourishment of land and people. Likewise, the word that goes out from the mouth of God is essential for feeding our minds and hearts.  The word of God will accomplish what it intends.  When the time came, the Israelites were freed from Babylon and returned to Israel.  Most of us want God to solve our problems immediately, and when he does that is great, but if he delays in doing so we become upset or discouraged. We are invited to have faith and patience as God will never withhold his promise.

The gospel presents the parable of the sower.  It should be understood that in ancient times, the farmer did not first plough the soil and then sow the seeds as people do today. Instead he sowed the seed and then ploughed the land. That is why some seeds fell among the stones or weeds or thorns or on the small paths. Jesus as the sower of the word of God, tells us this parable to show how he spread the word of God to all who could listen, but not everyone responded in the same way. There were those who ignored him, like the people of his home town Nazareth (Lk 4: 14-30); like the Pharisees who wanted to get rid of him (Mt 12: 14); like his disciples who left him (Jn 6: 66); some who treated him as a mad person.  They said there was no reason to listen to him (Jn 10: 20).

His teachings seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. Some people received his message with enthusiasm, but they quickly forgot it. Some people, however, received the word of God and kept it in their hearts and they let it be the light of their life as the Psalmist says: “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path” (Ps 119: 105). These are the ones whose seeds fell on the good soil.  As a result, they brought forth good harvest as Matthew stipulates: “Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Mt 13: 8). Even if conditions are unfavorable and his word seems destined to die (Mt. 11: 20-24); Jesus, however, teaches us that in spite of all obstacles, his word will yield abundant fruit because it contains in itself the irresistible force of life.

In our Life

  1. The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower, all who come to him will live forever.
  2. In both the first reading and the gospel, the word of God is living seed, however, the problem is always with the receiver, not the seed – that is, one’s attitude towards the word of God. The word of God is meant to be lived. It is meant to nourish our souls. It is meant to shape us.
  3. The word of God shapes our faith, and our faith depends on it. St. Paul reminds us that: faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of God (Rm 10: 10-17).